Sylvania fire chief warns station could close if levy fails

Sylvania fire chief warns station could close if levy fails

SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) - The future of the Sylvania Fire Department is on the line on Election Day.

Voters are being asked to approve a 1.5 mill operating levy.

Failure could mean some major cutbacks in operations.

Sunday night, members of 'Sylvania Citizens for Fire Service' held a get out the vote rally for Issue Eleven.

They're optimistic about its passage, even with other levies on the Lucas County ballot.

"I think it's always a concern but I think fire safety is an important issue in the township and city of Sylvania so we're hoping everybody will reach down and go for it," said Rich MacMillan of the group.

The selling point: runs are up 46 percent in the township and city the last ten years and population has increased 10 percent during the same time.

At the same time, staffing levels have been reduced.

"It will be going for equipment. About half of our fleet is very tired and needs to be replaced. It'll be going toward hiring a couple firefighters to help us with our increased workload," said Chief Jeff Kowalski.

If the levy passes, 1.8 million dollars will be raised annually over a seven year period.

The owner of a $150,000 home would see a $78.00 a year increase in property taxes.

Failure puts the department in a $1 million hole by 2016.

"Obviously next year will be quite a challenge for us if it goes down to defeat. We'll have to cut back services. We'll have to find a way to save the money. We possibly could go ahead and close a fire station," said Chief Kowalski.

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